Denise, welcome to the forum. I'm so sorry your husband is ill. You certainly have had a bad year. Unfortunately, I doubt that your husband would qualify for Medicaid, even if he were on SSD. It is determined by income. I know when I was trying to get Medicaid, the only way to get it in FL is to be considered disabled by Social Security and to also be very low income; or have a child in the home less than 18 yrs. old, or be blind or deaf. Even then, if you have too many assets, you don't qualify. I would say that you definitely have too many assets, even if your rental properties do not always bring in money. They would see that as "potential income." I believe you are allowed to have the house you are living in, a car, and no more than $2,000 in the bank. That's it, at least for FL. The financial cap may be higher in other states.
I agree that it is a good idea for your husband to apply for SSD. Get a lawyer after the first denial, and then prepare for a long wait. It took them 2 yrs. to approve me, but I did get all the back pay. Since it had been 2 yrs., I also got Medicare right off the bat. If one is approved in less than 2 yrs., then there has to be a total 2-year wait for Medicare. I do have Medically Needy from Medicare, which does pay my Medicare Part B premium and my Part D Prescription Drug Plan premium.
I was in the same position as your husband for most of the time I've been sick (hep C, cirrhosis, liver cancer, bilateral hip replacements with 2 revisions on the left) and had to get care at a Univ. of FL hospital. It is not the best of care, for sure. As soon as I got Medicare, I switched to Mayo, which literally saved my life.
As for the Plaquenil, ask the rheumatologist if there is an alternative med that your hubby could take. Plaquenil is contraindicated in persons with hepatic function impairment.
I'm glad you decided to post. You will find a lot of support, as well as information, here.
Post Edited (hep93) : 11/15/2008 12:51:00 PM (GMT-7)
Thank you for your good wishes. I am doing pretty well now, except for chronic fatigue from the hep C.
Butterfly is right in what she wrote in her post. Once your husband is approved for SSD, he can get Medicare 2 yrs. from the time he applied. That long wait can be a problem, especially when someone is chronically ill, but just get him whatever care you can and when he gets Medicare he will have many more options.
I worked as a medical transcriptionist for 15 years, and the last 6 years of my career I worked from home. I was considered an independent contractor and paid self-employment taxes...which is actually money that is being put into SS for when it is time for the worker to collect it. If your hubby qualifies for SSD, he will get the same amount that he would've gotten at full retirement age. Has he had regular jobs in his lifetime--ones where he was an employee? If not, and he was renting out properties without paying taxes on the income--then he may have a problem.
ETA: You can access the Social Security website at www.socialsecurity.gov There you will find information about a variety of topics, and can also start a disability claim there. I did my initial filing over the phone. They will then send a packet of paperwork to fill out. I never did have reason to go to the SS office. Also, when he gets an attorney it doesn't matter who the attorney is--he cannot get more than 25% the back pay. That is the standard payment and is automatically taken out of the lump sum payment and forwarded to him before you get your check. IMO, it's better to get a reputable lawyer who deals with cases other than SSD. Do NOT get one that advertises on TV. They do not have good reputations in the medical field, for the most part. Find a lawyer through word of mouth. I went with the law firm that my ex-b.f. had used. He had gotten approved in 9 mos. Unfortunately, his lawyer was tied up in court with a big, non SS related case, and I was assigned someone else within the firm. I had misgivings the first (and only) time I met with this man. He got fired about 6 wks. before I was approved. I learned that he had not been forwarding my updated medical info to SS. After the new lawyer took over--the one I actually wanted in the first place--I had approval within a month. We were getting ready to go to court, but SS settled.
Just wanted to give you some info from my personal experience.
Post Edited (hep93) : 11/15/2008 5:04:57 PM (GMT-7)